DID YOU READ

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Let’s Go to Prison

LET’S GO TO PRISON, Dax Shepard, Will Arnett, 2006. ©Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

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Enjoy the Dax Shepard, Will Arnett comedy on a whole new level thanks to these 15 little-known facts.

1. A Survivor, superhero, and soul singer are among the famous faces in the film’s opening sequence.

The mugshots and legal footage shown in the beginning montage include celebrities Lil Kim, Tim Allen, Robert Downey Jr., Suge Knight, Ozzy Osbourne, Bobby Brown, Charles Manson, James Brown, Steve-O, Tommy Lee, Martha Stewart, John Gotti, Mike Tyson, Richard Hatch from Survivor, and Heidi Fleiss.


2. Fittingly, Let’s Go to Prison was directed by a man who has played both a lawyer and cop on TV.

Let’s Go to Prison is the second theatrically released film directed by Bob Odenkirk, better know as Saul Goodman from the TV series Breaking Bad. Odenkirk also recently played Sheriff Bill Oswalt in the TV adaptation of Fargo.


3. The movie’s writers also boast résumés filled with fictional law-enforcement roles.

Co-writers Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant both starred in and created the show Reno 911!, a mockumentary about police officers that aired on Comedy Central from 2003-2009.


4. The movie is based on a real-life manual for adjusting to life behind bars.

Jim Hogshire’s 1994 non-fiction book You Are Going to Prison, which offers advice to first-time prisoners, inspired the film.


5. Let’s Go to Prison was the first film released by the production company behind The Cosby Show.

Previously, the Carsey-Werner Company was well known for such comedy heavy-hitters as The Cosby Show, Roseanne, and 3rd Rock from the Sun. Their second release was also a film by Odenkirk called The Brothers Solomon, which came out in 2007.


6. The movie was filmed inside a real prison.

Rossmore State Penitentiary is actually the Joliet Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, which closed down as a functioning prison in 2002. The Joliet Correction Center can also be seen in The Blues Brothers and the first season of Prison Break.


7. The song the characters sing at the end of the movie is “Move This” by Technotronic.

It was released in 1992 and peaked at #6 on the Billboard charts.

8. Despite its 2006 release, the movie is set sometime before 2005.

The can of Fresca, Nelson’s beloved soda, used in the film features an out-of-date design. The brand was given a complete redesign in 2005, meaning Let’s Go to Prison takes place sometime before then.


9. An eventual Oscar nominee plays a bit role.

Michael Shannon plays the leader of the prison’s white supremacists group.


10. Dax Shepard can thank Ashton Kutcher for snagging the lead.

Shepard was cast because of his appearances on Kutcher’s prank show Punk’d.


11. A Sunday morning comics staple makes a cameo.

The card that Nelson receives from the white supremacists features the long-running comic strip character Ziggy.


12. Barry and Nelson listen to “Feels So Good” by Chuck Mangione in Barry’s prison cell.

The song, from Mangione’s 1977 jazz album of the same name, was referenced frequently on the Fox animated comedy King of the Hill, on which Mangione regularly played himself.


13. Bob Odenkirk wanted White Stripes drummer Meg White to score the film.

But the studio removed her drums-only soundtrack against Odenkirk’s wishes.


14. Guitarist Ray Parker Jr. plays on the film’s soundtrack.

Parker rose to fame after writing and performing the Ghostbusters theme song in 1984.


15. The film has an alternate ending.

In it, John, who is about to be sent back to prison, calls Nelson from Tijuana to ask him to post his bail. Nelson hangs up in order to live happily ever after with Barry in their mansion together.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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